Companies Turn to THC Beverages as Next Growing Legal Cannabis Market

Just this year, outside players and big names like Jones Soda Company and Pabst Blue Ribbon have entered the cannabis game with their own lines of infused beverages. Cannabis beverages have offered their own array of benefits, including a faster metabolization process than many ingestible, food edibles, meaning that the cannabis effects typically hit the user much quicker.

There are already plenty of 10mg, single-serving options in the THC beverage world. However, companies like Rob Dyrdek and Diplo’s Leisuretown line have swooped in with low-dose options. Leisuretown beverages each have 2.5mg of THC and 5mg of CBD, made explicitly for folks looking to wind down throughout an entire evening without overindulging, emulating the experience of a night out with a few alcoholic drinks.

It’s a playground of sorts at this stage, a time for experimentation and innovation as these products still remain in a period of infancy compared to their ingestible counterparts, flower and concentrates.

And currently, cannabis beverages only represent about 1% of overall legal cannabis sales in the U.S. Though, that’s not to say the cogs aren’t moving—CNBC reports that the market is already getting crowded, with various companies like Leisuretown, Jones, and Pabst attempting to crack the code to create the first successful, mainstream THC beverage.

“The choice for consumers was not as wide in the past but now we’ve seen dozens of companies get involved in the cannabis beverage space,” said Amanda Reiman,vice president of public policy research at New Frontier Data, a cannabis firm tracking consumer habits.

Many companies continue to follow the 10mg model, the standard state-recommended single serving of edibles, for each drink. Other companies better known for their alcoholic offerings, like Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser; Constellation Brands, maker of Modelo Especial and Corona Extra; Lagunita Brewing Company; and Ceria offer a wider variety of doses, ranging from 2.5 to 10mg.

This isn’t to say that cannabis drinks are at all new. Keef Brands, for one, first culminated back in 2010 thanks to Boulder, Colorado’s Erik Knutson and friends. Knutson already knew the potential value in a cannabis-infused beverage—The Keef Cola was crucial to his vision.

The Keef Brands website recounts the first trial of Keef Cola, with Knutsen’s Grandma Dee, “because if an 85-year-old woman who’s never smoked cannabis in her life loves it, then they might just be onto something,” it reads.

Sure enough, Dee was a fan, and Keef was born.

More than 10 years later, Keef Brands CEO Travis Tharp is aware of the slow growth of the market, though he argues that it simply leaves more room for continued growth.

“There have been multiple false starts for anointing beverages the next big thing,” Tharp said. “But I think we’ve gotten to a point where we are showing that the year over year growth is something that is substantial.”

Keef has embraced a third approach, among their offerings of 10mg single serving drinks, with a 100-milligram mocktail Tharp likened to a bottle of hard liquor. Just as you wouldn’t drink a full bottle of hard alcohol in one go, this selection is meant to be enjoyed over time.

While 100mg beverages (which still come with methods of measurement to obtain single, state-recommended 10mg doses) may be a bit unusual compared to your typical 100mg offering of cookies or gummies—generally in 10 individual pieces—these products are also not brand new. Though, experts still worry that higher-dose THC in drinks could pose health risks.

And though fast metabolization and a quick onset can be beneficial, liquid edible highs carry the potential of being too intense or unpredictable, especially among novice users or anyone consuming too much, too quickly—arguably a concern regardless of the cannabis product involved.

One solution to mend these worries, Tharp said, is continuing cannabis research. He argued that one reason for the lack of research on cannabis, and the myriad ways folks can consume it, is its continued status as a Schedule I drug. New Frontier’s Reiman shared a similar sentiment, adding that, should cannabis see federal regulation, the Food and Drug Administration would study and regulate THC beverages.

This is, of course, a much more complicated puzzle. The lack of federal legalization also ensures that cannabis beverage makers must operate under a collection of state laws, leading to a disjointed supply chain that can hinder growth.

Ultimately, Reiman argued that the increasing social acceptance of recreational cannabis will usher in the success of THC beverages.

“Consumers are looking for something that will replace an alcoholic beverage but allow them to consume it in the same manner and environment in which they’re used to consuming alcoholic beverages,” she said.

And it doesn’t appear that the cannabis world, and the potential for THC beverages, is slowing down. A January 2022 Fortune Business Insights projection showed that the global cannabis market is projected to grow from $915.06 million USD in 2021 to $19,063.58 million USD in 2028 at a CAGR of 54.31% throughout that period.

While nothing is certain, the phrase “going out for drinks” may soon have more than one fixed definition, so long as cannabis professionals and consumers have their way.

The post Companies Turn to THC Beverages as Next Growing Legal Cannabis Market appeared first on High Times.

High Times at Grass Lands

*Disclaimer: This is obviously a promoted post. High Times is a participant in Outsidelands 2022*

For the first time ever, High Times is coming to Outside Lands in San Francisco! Hosting the Grass Lands Farmers’ Market, aka the dispensary village INSIDE the festival grounds, this marks the first time the brand has brought its new retail model into a live event experience, and we couldn’t be more excited to party with you all!

Outside Lands

In case you aren’t hip, Outside Lands is the three day music and culture festival in San Francisco, thrown by Superfly, the mad scientists behind Bonnaroo, and it’s taking place this weekend. Featuring world-class talent like Post Malone, Green Day, Sza and countless more, the event also has various age-gated areas to imbibe, like Beerlands, Winelands, and our favorite, Grass Lands. It truly is an adult wonderland. If you can make it, tickets are still available here.

Courtesy of Outside Lands

Grass Lands

Now, while there will be several activations taking place across the Grass Lands footprint, High Times will be powering the central Farmers’ Market, and we’re bringing a taste of our new stores directly to you. From High Times’ own Red & Black label products to keep you elevated, to Pabst Blue Ribbon’s High Seltzer & Cann to keep you hydrated, we’re excited to share our stash with you all!

High Times will also be powering the mobile order pickup, so if you’re the type who likes to skip lines, no sweat, we’ve got you covered! You can order ahead from within the official Outsidelands app! Just navigate to the main menu in the upper left corner, tap Grass Lands (6th option), then mobile ordering in the bottom right corner, and we’ll get you sorted!

What a time to be alive, man!

What to see?

Besides obviously taking advantage of the fact that you can now buy weed legally inside festivals, there’s a ton of cool stuff happening at the event to get into. While there’s sure to be a ton of yet-to-be-seen art & activations to trip out on, below is a selection of my personal agenda for the fest:

*Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is within complaint daily purchase limits – don’t sue me!*


  • Kicking things off in the SOMA Tent at 12:45. Will be posted in the tent across two sets (Major League Djz & AMEME) so rocking some of Pabst Blue Ribbon’s High Seltzer to gently get the day started, and keep me hydrated. I’ve got to hit turntable legend Craze at 4 in the House by Heineken… I hope they let me in even though I’ll clearly be stoned.
  • Oliver Tree’s playing the Lands End stage at 5:30, and I can’t miss that. I’ll bring some of the brand’s new Black Label prerolls to really get into the vibes. After that’s Lil Uzi, and I’ll want to have a solid buzz on for that show.
  • Finally, I’m hitting Disclosure’s set at Sutro to close out the night. I know there’s a new state of emergency and all that, but there’s no way I’m not in the crowd for this one. I’ll be rocking Halara’s Zkooby Znakz cart so I don’t have to worry about relighting, or first-time-lighting someone else on fire.
Courtesy of Outside Lands


  • As I’m sure I’ll be sleep deprived by this point, I’m going to go relive my youth and start the day out with a good cry at the Emo Night Tour’s set. Taking place at the Panhandle at 1:30, I’ll bring the Smokiez fruit chews with me, in case I need to eat my feelings.
  • Pop in to check out both Larry June (at Twin Peaks at 5:30) and Jack Harlow (Lands End at 6:40)
  • Finally I’m going to get comfortable at Sutro with some Heavy Hitters Diamond Prerolls to check out Parcels, and hang out there into Polo & Pan. I’m bringing some of Cann’s Blood Orange Hi-Boys for that one, because I feel like that’s what those guys would drink if they were watching themselves. It feels appropriate.


  • I anticipate this will be a slow morning, but I’m jumping right into Sunday with Pussy Riot at the Panhandle. Hitting the stage at 4:10 I’m going to bring a multipack of the new Black Label joints because I’m definitely going to make friends in this crowd.
  • I can’t get TOO crazy there, because I’m the MOST excited about getting weird over at 100 Gecs set. Starting at 4:55 at Twin Peaks, I’m blasting the f off for these guys. I’ll have some of Jetpack’s FJ1 infused jawns to make sure everything they’re doing makes perfect sense to me.
  • Finally, in one of the most unexpected back to back set lineups of my entire life, I’m hanging out at Lands End from Weezer through Post Malone. Since I’m reliving my punk rock roots, into whatever the heck Posty is, I’m going to bring some of Heavy Hitter’s HVY Mules, as what better time for a mocktail than a rock show?

Past that, if it’s not on the above schedule I’ll be posted in the smoking section – as per usual. Come hang with us at the Farmer’s Market, and smoke a joint (or yell at, if you like) our Editor-in-Chief Ellen & I!

See you at the show!

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